In Montessori, we use multiple forms of assessment to determine social, personal and academic progress for each individual child. These largely include observation, which helps guides to not only assess completion and accuracy, but also the ability to stay organized and on task. Observation lends the opportunity to assess preferences and strengths as well as a student’s ability to work within a community. These observations are critical to understanding your child. Additional forms of assessment include oral and written demonstrations of knowledge through presentations and lessons to peers. These are authentic opportunities for assessment.
Three times a year students in our Elementary (ages 6-12) and Middle School (ages 12-15) programs participate in MAP testing to assess their progress in reading and math. Rather than testing to specific benchmarks, this assessment simply allows us to ‘map’ each student’s individual academic growth to help us guide them through the curriculum. The assessment also reinforces the observations of the guides to identify areas of strength and need for your child in relation to state standards.
Watch this 20-minute presentation from our Education Coordinator, Ms. Bourdo, to see how MAP testing fits into assessments in Montessori Education. The video covers when we MAP test, how computer-adaptive assessments work, what a RIT score is, a look at a student goal setting worksheet and how to talk to your student about their MAP scores.
Unlike paper and pencil tests, where all students are asked the same questions, MAP Growth is a computer adaptive assessment—meaning every student gets a unique set of questions based on responses to previous questions. As the student answers correctly, questions get harder. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions get easier. By the end of the assessment, students will have answered about half the questions correctly. The purpose of MAP Growth is to determine what the student knows and is ready to learn next. MAP Growth can track a student’s individual growth over a period of time – wherever they are starting from and regardless of their age or grade.
After all, students have completed their first MAP assessments in August, classroom guides have a personal meeting with each student to share MAP scores and discuss areas of strength and areas to focus on learning. This is one of the tools guides utilize to collaborate with each student in setting academic goals for the remainder of the school year. The MAP Student Goal Setting Worksheet provides results from the assessment and documentation of the student’s goal-setting meeting with his or her classroom guide.
When students finish their MAP Growth test, they receive a number called an RIT score for each area (Reading and Math). This score represents a student’s achievement level at the moment of testing and helps measure academic growth over time. The RIT scale is a stable scale, like feet and inches, that measures student performance, regardless of age, grades or grade level.
Like marking height on a growth chart shows and measuring how tall your child is over time, an RIT score measures academic progress over time. Unlike height, however, academic growth rarely occurs in a steady upward slope. You will notice scores will sometimes increase only slightly, stay steady, or even decrease slightly. This is why the most accurate evaluation of a child based on MAP RIT scores occurs over a longer period of time when more data has been collected and patterns or consistencies can be identified.
Most students take 30 to 45 minutes to complete a MAP Growth assessment. However, MAP Growth is not timed, and students may take as much time as they need to complete it. Assessment periods allow guides to administer MAP Growth individually or in small groups. Students do not experience the testing dynamics of a class starting the assessment all at the same time and then having to wait for others to finish.
At Starwood Academy of Frisco, we are dedicated to a whole-child approach, and observe the academic development of the child, while also assessing social, emotional and developmental progress. The core of our assessment is daily teacher observation, interaction, and record-keeping. The MAP assessments are just another tool in our toolkit.
To learn more about a private school education in Frisco, Texas that follows the individual child, contact our admissions team by inquiring online or calling (972) 855-8585.